Sourdough Loaf with Ripe Palmyra Pulp


Have I gone nuts with my sourdough (SD) baking?

Have I played with weird ingredients in my SD bakes?

Have I had an insane amount of fun doing so?

Am I going to continue creating ridiculously exciting bakes?

Am I boring you?

Well the answer to the first 4 questions is a resounding Yes and hopefully I will hear a No on the last one 😀

So basically I have come to the realization that SD is versatile enough to be led wherever the imagination permits it to go. And with a wild imagination like mine, we are certainly going where no SD has ever gone before!!!

If you have seen my previous post on the Ripe Palmyra Fruit, you will know that even the golden pulp of this fruit was not spared by my SD mania and it ended up starring in a beautiful creation called the Sourdough Palm Pulp Loaf.

Yes and this is what you will be baking with me today, so crank up the enthusiasm and allow the above visual to tempt you to read further.

I have always complained that natural colors and I, do not have a joyful history, with most of the colors fading on baking or application of heat. But of course I am not one to give up and any new potential hue becomes a victim of my quest and lands up in my bakes.

When I first set eyes on the brilliant liquid gold which was the ripe palm pulp, I instantly had to introduce it to my SD starter and I hoped that they would hit it off to produce an equally colorful bread. Well my ingredients did not disappoint and the end result was a pretty loaf, colored with the mellow yellow from the pulp, interspersed with a peachy orange from a mix of Kashmiri chilli powder. A swirl that made me twirl in joy.

Here is a quick video of how to extract the pulp –

This is the YouTube version –

Sourdough bread – 

If you are a beginner to SD, you will have to first familiarize yourself with what that is. I have explained what SD is about in the earlier posts on SD starter 1  and SD Starter 2 and before you can attempt any bake with SD, you will need to have a nice, enthusiastic starter ready. I would recommend that you read those posts first or else the following recipe may not make much sense to you.

Sourdough loaf –

SD sandwich bread is a softer bread than the usual crusty SD boule. It is baked in a loaf tin which makes it easier to shape than a free form bread.

I have been using my Kitchen Aid stand mixer to knead the dough for most of my loaves so far and I find it quite convenient. But I am sure that same can be achieved by hand too, for those who do not have the machine.

Since I am using natural colors, I have opted to  use 100% maida aka All Purpose Flour (APF) and am hoping that once I master that, I will also get a similar effect with combinations of other flours. This also happens to be eggless and vegan but one can also use dairy if one wishes.

The process – 

The process is almost identical to my earlier SD loaf recipes, with only a few changes. I have used palm pulp instead of water and also increased the hydration a bit.

The steps – 

The steps are similar to the  Simple Sourdough Loaf 3 recipe but I will repeat here again for easy reference.

The process is quite similar to making bread with commercial yeast, the difference being that the SD dough takes much longer to rise.

1. Make or have your SD starter ready –

Refresh your starter a day or two before baking, depending on how neglected it has been.

2. Prepare the Levain –

About 5 – 6 hours before making the dough, take a portion of the starter and feed it with equal weights of flour and water in a 1:4:4 ratio.

For example, If I need 90 gm of levain in the recipe, I will take 10 gm starter and feed with 40 gm water and 40 gm flour at least 6 hours before beginning to make my dough. If my starter is known to double in less than that time, I will create my levain accordingly.

Usually the quantity of levain used is 20% by weight, of the total flour in the recipe. For a quicker sandwich loaf, one can use even 40% of the total flour (exact figures in the recipe below).

The float test is a good method to see if the levain is ready. Drop a teaspoon of levain gently into a glass container of water. If the blob floats for a while and does not sink right away, the levain is ready to be used.

3. Autolyse the dough –

Around 1 -2 hours before the levain is ready, mix the rest of the flour and water from the recipe and let it sit covered in a bowl. Autolyse has many benefits and loosely speaking they include helping the dough to fully hydrate, giving a better flavor and texture to the finished product and also readying the food which  the yeast will feed on, thus optimizing the fermentation process etc. Of course there is much chemistry behind this but I will not get into that here.

4. Kneading –

One can perform hand kneading or machine kneading with a stand mixer. This is done till the dough comes together as a soft, cohesive mass.

(sometimes if the hydration is high, I also prefer to do around 3 Stretch and Folds aka SnF at intervals of 30 min – 1 hr).

5. Bulk Ferment –

The kneaded dough is rolled into a ball and smeared with a bit of oil and left to ferment and rise in a covered container.

6. Shape the dough and place in loaf pan –

When the dough has increased to around 1.5 times its original volume (around 2 – 3 hours in my warm Indian kitchen), it is then shaped and placed in the greased/lined loaf tin. Timings will vary according to several factors like ambient temperature, quality of flour, etc.

In case of this bread, the shaping to incorporate the different colored doughs, is given in the actual recipe.

7. Final rise –

The tin is covered in plastic wrap and set aside till the dough  rises again to nearly double (around 2 hours in my kitchen)

Timings will vary according to several factors like ambient temperature, quality of flour, etc.

8. Preheating oven –

Around 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to maximum temperature.

9. Scoring and baking –

Slash or score the dough and bake it in the oven. Timing will depend on individual ovens.

SD Palm Pulp loaf recipe –

Time –

Approximately 11 – 12 hours from start to finish.

Makes – One 8×4.5×3 inch loaf


For the dough –

1 – Levain – 130 gm – See Notes

2 – All-purpose flour (maida) or bread flour – 320 gm – See Notes

3 –  Ripe Palm Pulp at room temperature – 180 gm – See Notes

4 –   Salt – 6 gm/1 teaspoon

5 –  Oil/ghee/butter  – 40 gm (I used oil)

6 –  Raw sugar (or any sugar) – 20 gm

7 – Oil for coating the dough – 2 teaspoons

8 – Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1 -2 teaspoon or enough to color the dough as desired (See Notes)

Ingredients for greasing the pan and dusting –

Oil (any neutral type. I used Sunflower oil) – 2 teaspoon

Parchment paper to line the bottom and sides of the pan

Equipment that I used – 

Kitchen Aid Bowl Lift Stand Mixer

Loaf Pan 8×4.5×3 inches

You can hand knead it if you are comfortable with wetter dough. You can also use any shape of pan or even bake a free form bread, if you are accustomed to doing so.

Method – 

Refresh your starter a day or two before baking, depending on how neglected it has been.

Prepare the Levain – About 3 hours before making the dough, take 15 gm of the starter and feed it in a 1:4:4 ratio with 60 gm flour + 60 gm water. My starter doubles in 3 hours.

Depending on your ambient conditions, start your levain process according to the time that you want to begin your autolyse.

Perform the float test if you need to confirm if the levain is ready. Drop a teaspoon of levain gently into a glass container of water. If the blob floats for a while and does not sink right away, the levain is ready to be used.

Autolyse the dough – Around 1 hour before the levain is ready, mix 320 gm of maida (APF) with 180 gm palm pulp and let it sit covered in a Kitchen Aid mixer bowl or regular bowl. The mix will not be too wet.

Kneading – After an hour, add 130 gm of levain and sugar to the autolyse. Knead for 5 minutes in the Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Add the salt and oil and knead for another 5 minutes till the dough comes together.

Perform hand kneading if you do not have a stand mixer. Knead till the dough comes together as a soft, cohesive mass.

Roughly divide the dough into 2 parts. Leave one part as it is and add 2 teaspoon of Kashmiri chilli powder to the other part. Mix well by hand or use the stand mixer again for a few minutes till the color is absorbed by the dough. Set this aside.

Bulk Ferment – Roll the 2 kneaded doughs into balls and smear  with a bit of oil and leave it covered in 2 separate greased bowls.

All the balls should rise to 1.5 times in volume in 3 hours (or depending on your variables). You can also place them in tall see through containers so that the rise in volume is clearly visible.

Grease the loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Flour the worktop lightly (I prefer using a Silpat mat) and gently press or roll the 2 doughs into rough rectangles whose length is equal to the length of the loaf pan.

Place the palm pulp dough as the bottom layer. On top of this, place the chilli dough.

Roll up the rectangle tightly and place the dough in the loaf pan.

Cover the pan with cling wrap. At this point you can opt to chill it overnight in the fridge or set it aside right away till the dough  rises again to nearly double (approximately 1- 2 hours).

If you opt to refrigerate, then the next day when you take it out, allow it to come to room temperature and rise. It may take a bit longer than the fresh dough, due to refrigeration.

Remember that Sourdough breads do not usually rise significantly like with regular commercial yeast breads.

Around 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to maximum temperature.

Dust some flour on the dough through a tea strainer. Score the dough with a blade and place it in the oven. Failing to slash the loaf may give rise to the loaf breaking through the top unevenly while rising.

Baking time will depend on individual ovens. In my oven I left it at maximum 250 deg c for the first 15 minutes until I saw the top browning. Then I reduced to 200 deg c for another 25 minutes.

Take out the loaf and invert it on a cooling rack. Slice ONLY when completely cool.

The bread has a faint flavor and scent of the palm fruit.

Notes –

The levain quantity can vary according to how fast you want your dough to rise. A higher levain will result in a quicker fermentation.

The maida (APF) is 320 gm and is derived from subtracting 65 gm which the levain has, from the total 385 gm in the recipe.

The liquid is 180 gm, which means a total of 245 gms if you include the 65 gm that is used in the levain.

The hydration (meaning how much liquid you wish to use) is up to you. But you will have to learn the skill of working with higher hydration dough before increasing the wetness.

You can use any natural ingredient to color your dough. I have used Kashmiri chilli powder because it imparts a red color without adding to the spice level.

I hope you will successfully try this recipe and I would really appreciate if you leave your feedback in the Blog comments.

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About Currylines

A food and travel enthusiast who plays with words
This entry was posted in Baking, Fruits and Vegetables, Oota, Recipes, Sourdough, Vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sourdough Loaf with Ripe Palmyra Pulp

  1. Sheetal Bhanti says:

    Oh my goodness girl…I finally got the starter in place and now I’ll have to hunt for this fruit this looks ammmmmaaazing

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